The people of Ukraine have been plunged into war as Russia invaded the country in the early hours of Thursday 24 February, with explosions heard in the capital and other major cities.
The military operation has triggered an international outcry and many world leaders have condemned Russian president Vladimir Putin for launching an “unprovoked and unjustifiable” attack on Ukraine.
In a video message posted to Twitter on 25 February, UK prime minister Boris Johnson said: “The scenes unfolding in the streets and fields of Ukraine are nothing short of a tragedy.
“The people of the United Kingdom stand with our Ukrainian brothers and sisters in the face of this unjustifiable assault on your homeland.”
Mr Johnson added that “Putin’s actions are leading to complete isolation for Russia”. This crisis, this tragedy can and must come to an end,” he said.
As the Ukrainian people and military face growing conflict and violence, they will need support and donations that will go towards humanitarian aid, psychological support, medical supplies for paramedics and doctors on the frontlines, and independent reporting.
Here are some of the ways in which you can show your support.
Where to donate to help Ukraine
Ukrainians have put together a list of credible organisations where foreigners can donate.
These are charities you can donate to in support of the people of Ukraine.
Come Back Alive and Army SOS
Come Back Alive is a Kyiv-based charity that fundraises for Ukraine’s military, in order to ensure soldiers and volunteers have enough supplies to fight back against Russia.
These supplies include auxiliary equipment, specialised software, drones, personal body protection, and training.
The charity’s website provides instructions on how to donate from abroad , which can be found here.
Army SOS also uses donated funds to help purchase supplies for the Ukrainian military, including ammunition, shields and food. Instructions on how to donate can be found here.
Razom for Ukraine, United Help Ukraine, Sunflower of Peace and Revived Soldiers Ukraine
These organisations, recommended through a crowd-sourced list of fundraisers and charities put together by Ukrainians, are asking for donations to fund medical aid for the people of Ukraine.
This includes buying first aid kits, medical supply packs to help soldiers in the front lines, and medical rehabilitation for those who are injured.
Razom for Ukraine’s emergency response will use donations to purchase and deliver essential goods, translate important documents and sources, share vital information, and put volunteers on the ground.
You can donate to its fundraiser here.
United Help Ukraine says it is also working with other emergency response organisations to “prepare humanitarian aid to civilians that might be directly affected if Russian forces attack”.
The charity provides a PayPal link for donations on its Facebook page, which can be found here.
Sunflower of Peace is a fundraiser created by Katya Malakhova and aims to prepare first aid medical backpacks for paramedics and doctors.
Each backpack has the potential to save “up to 10 lives”, the fundraiser says, including soldiers, civilians, volunteers and children. You can donate to Sunflower of Peace via its Facebook page here.
Revived Soldiers of Ukraine delivers humanitarian and medical aid to soldiers and their families, as well as to those who are affected by military conflict.
The non-profit’s website provides details on how to donate via PayPal here.
British Red Cross
The British Red Cross has set up an emergency appeal to raise funds for food, medicines and basic medical supplies, shelter and water.
You can donate to their fundraiser here.
Voices of Children and Save the Children
Voices of Children helps children affected by the war in eastern Ukraine by providing psychological and psychosocial support to children.
Instructions on how to donate to Voices of Children programmes, such as art therapy, mobile psychologists, and individual help for families are available on its website here.
Save the Children has also launched an emergency fund that will go towards distributing essential humanitarian aid to children and their families, delivering winter and hygiene kits, providing cash grants to families and access to education, and giving psychological support to children.
You can donate to the fund here.
Write to your MP
Writing to your local MP is a way to lobby the British government to place additional sanctions on the Russian government. The Ukrainian Institute in London has created a template letter for you to copy and send to your MP [note: you do not have to have a “personal connection” to Ukraine to write]. Personalising your letter always has more of an impact, so channel your feelings into a letter and/or an email. You can also find details of your local MP here.
Priti Patel has confirmed that only 100,000 Ukrainians refugees will be able to seek sanctuary in the UK under relaxed immigration rules, but only those with family already in the UK. Her decision has shocked MPs and charities who expected her to follow the EU in waiving visa rules, something she has rejected on “security advice”.
You can support the Refugee Council’s urgent call to the government to create more safe routes to the UK for refugees and people seeking asylum here.
Attend a march or demonstration
Thousands of people across the UK gathered in cities including London, Edinburgh, Glasgow, Newcastle, Cambridge, Oxford, Bristol, Norwich, Exeter and Brighton to make their opposition to the Russian invasion felt this weekend.
Protests and demonstrations are likely to continue in earnest. The Association of Ukrainians in Great Britain is sharing demonstrations and shows of solidarity around the UK via its Facebook page, as is the Ukrainian Solidarity Campaign. Stop the War Coalition has also been sharing events on its homepage and social media. With swathes of the Conservative Party hellbent on banning protest, it’s worth educating yourself on your rights before you head out.
Support refugees and migrants in Ukraine
Scores of African migrants in Ukraine are being blocked from fleeing to safety with those trying to make border crossings being openly denied support and transportation because of their race, according to reports.
Osarumen, a father-of-three, told The Independent that he, his family members and other migrants were told to disembark a bus about to cross the border on Saturday and told, “No blacks”. Despite challenging the driver and military officers’ orders, they were ejected from the vehicle.
“In all of my years as an activist, I have never seen anything like this. When I look into the eyes of those who are turning us away, I see bloodshot racism; they want to save themselves and they are losing their humanity in the process.
“This isn’t just happening to black people – even Indians, Arabs and Syrians,” he added, “and that shouldn’t be the case.”
The UN Refugee Agency is accepting donations for work with internally displaced communities and stateless people.
Support LGBTQ+ people in Ukraine
LGBTQ+ people are often more vulnerable and marginalised than their heterosexual counterparts and war is no exception.
Many fear that human rights against the LGBTQIA+ community will occur if Russia takes control of Ukraine. Homophobia is embedded in Russian culture, with a “gay propaganda” law being unanimously passed in 2013 making it illegal to distribute material, such as leaflets, in support of LGBTQ+ people, and in 2021 the country banned same-sex marriage. Homophobia and transphobia is widespread, with conservative and far-right organisations frequently attacking LGBTQ+ groups and events.
OutRight Action International is helping support LGBTQ+ individuals and groups in Ukraine – you can donate to their work here.